Casey Capers - USA

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Vol. 22 No. 9 - 17 November, 2018

Loaded in Iowa and an easy trip east to deliver at Mantiowoc Crane, Inc in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania on 2 November.

A new Pennsylvania Welcome Centre on Interstate 76 at the Maryland line. Displays and history.

While we were delivering the cylinders in Pennsylvania, an Admiral agent called to ask if we wanted to load out of the same place.  Yes, of course - easy, and no deadhead!  Loaded and tarped crane parts for another Manitowoc Crane in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Internet:  Manitowoc Cranes is a division of The Manitowoc Company, Inc – they produce five brands of cranes: Grove, National Cranbe, Shuttlelift, Manitowoc, and Potain.  Headquarters in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Shady Grove, Pennsylvania.

Shady Grove, Pennslvania to Port Washington, Wisconsin.
We arrive mid-Sunday morning and it was extremely windy, and rain and cold!  Getting a motel room in nearby Saukville was a good idea.
Delivered the crane parts Monday morning in Port Washington.
Saukville, Wisconsin.

After delivering, we loaded in the same place!!  Going back to Manitowoc in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania.  One track for a crane - heavy!

Port Washington, Wisconsin to Shady Grove, Pennsylvania.
Another easy load and delivery.  We could have kept going back and forth, but we had to get to Buffalo area to say our good-byes before going to Australia.
35 miles over to Hanover, Pennsylvania to load a conveyor from an auction of used equipment from the Utz Quality Foods factory.
Website:  We are Utz, our story began with Bill and Salie who started making and selling potato chips in 1921.  Now we are the largest independent privately held snack brand in the USA.  This is a reflection of Utz quality …  in our facilities, in our products and in our people.  Together, the Utz team has provided the very best products to an ever-growing marketplace.

Hanover, Pennsylvania to Williamson, New York.
Our lunch was at a convenience store, we got a sub sandwich and a packet of Utz potato chips; Italian Hoagie flavour - that was a treat!
Willaimson, New York is east of Rochester and a fruit growing and processing area located on the south shore of Lake Ontario.  The town hosts an annual Apple Blossom Festival since 1960.  Celebrating the town's (and regions) heritage of apple farming.  The week long celebration is held in May at the height of the blooms.  Williamson is recognised nationally for its fruit growing - specialties like apple tarts, peach pies and cherry cokes - local agriculture also includes dairy farming.
Several big companies there - the Mott's plant employs approximately 300.
On Thursday morning the conveyor was delivered to an equipment company that refurbishes equipment for resale.  Deadhead to Buffalo, with a breakfast stop at Bergen Diner on the way to see our Aussie friend, Stephen.
Then to Joe and Michele's and make sure the heat worked in our camper because snow and cold was in the forecast!  The snow started Friday morning.

Early afternoon, Jimmy arrived, and the snow continued falling.

Since we have had this camper - we have not been in Western New York when it has snowed.  The heater worked great in it! Very toastie!

Friday, 9 November was Joe's 50th birthday and party in the evening at Bennington Lanes.  Lots of family and friends there and a friends band Swift Kick played awesome and entertaining music for dancing and fun.

Saturday was snowing, and very windy! Jim had planned to replace a fan clutch in the truck, it had been sticking.  There was no way he wanted to get under the hood of the truck when it was so cold - we stayed indoors and watch movies!  Ventured out in the evening to Jeff's house nearby for his Deer and Beer night. Shotgun Hunting season starts the next week, and lots of hunters invite people over, to empty their freezers of deer meat and other game, to make space for the new.
Several dishes new to me:  venison backstrap; Generally considered primo cuts of meat on a deer, elk, moose or other four-footed cervid.  They are the cut that runs along each side of the spine, and are lean and tender.  Jeff had smoked venison backstrap which was delicious; also smoked turkey.

One thing I tried that was only appreciated by a few people there - head cheese (I discovered it is known as 'brawn' in Australia).  It can be made with a variety of ingredients, this one had vinegar and peppers in it.
Internet:   Head cheese or brawn is a cold cut that originated in Europe.  A version pickled with vinegar is known as souse.  Head cheese is not a dairy chees, but a terrine or meat jelly made with the flesh from the head of a calf or pig, or less commonly a sheep or cow, and often set in aspic.  The parts of the head used vary, but the brain, eyes and ears are usually removed.  The tongue, and sometimes feet and heart may be included.  It may be flavoured with onion, black pepper, allspice, bay leaf, salt and vinegar.  It is usually eaten at room temperature.

Loaded in Lockport, New York on Monday 12th - at a warehouyse - counter tops for Florida.  A heavy load, but got us to Florida after a cold, snowy few days in Western New York.
Lockport, New York to Lakeland, Florida.

The drive south was a lot of rain, fog and cold.
The counter tops delivered Wednesday, mid day to another warehouse in Lakeland, Florida, then to the house.  Jimmy got to Daytona Beach on Thurday, so we took another opportunity to see him and met him for a Mexican dinner at La Fiesta in Ormond Beach. 
Driving over the Seabreeze Boulevard Bridge, Daytona Beach at sunset.

It was a bit of a busy time for us - finalizing end of the year for trucking.  Took the truck to New Smyrna Beach to store it at Ron's business.  Then out to dinner with him. Canal Street New Smyrna Beach usually makes lovely sunset photos.

A bit of shopping to be done and the Tanger Outlets in Daytona is a great place.  Neighbour and friend, Diana came with me and we had a couple of hours enjoying the Christmas/Thanksgiving decorations and sales.  The tree was impressive!
Saturday evening was our last in Daytona Beach for 2018, so it was lovely to stroll along the Boardwalk, it has been a long time since we have been this late in the year in Daytona Beach.  The decorations were up.

The city Christmas Tree at the Convention Centre, next block from our house.  The seahorses were cool!

We are packed and ready to leave for Australia in the morning.  This is the last Casey Capers for 2018.  :-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Vol. 22 No. 8 - 31 October, 2018

1 October and Autumn / Fall in Western New York - leaves were beginning to change colour.

Also, it is the start of bow hunting season in New York.  Baillie was up early, dressed and getting ready to go in to the woods behind the house with her bow.
We loaded in Endicott, New York at National Pipe and Plastics, Inc.  Purple drainage pipe - 30" diametre.
Endicott, New York to Sanford, Florida.
I had to take a "cool pipe" photo!
"Purple" for reclaimed water pipe.  A quick trip south to Sanford, Florida to deliver mid-Wednesday morning.  An early start that day saw many changes in the weather and conditions in a 60 mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Florida.
South of Jacksonville, Florida.

Rain storm.
Two minutes later - storm is over.
Delivery was on the side of the road in Sanford, Florida - a new development.  Once empty, we headed to Daytona Beach.  Driving past the Car Museum, there was a rig with a new shipment of old cars in the parking lot. 
After parking the truck and getting to the house, we took the motorbike to Dimitri's Ocean Deck Bar and Grille in Ormond Beach.  Dimitri's is on A1A, but not on the ocean.  It is three levels high and the top deck has a view of the Atlantic Ocean.  Hurricane Leslie was out there somewhere, and made for swells, riptides, and a nice breeze.

Jimmy was in Daytona Beach and Derek had been working in the area, so a nice catch up with them.  It was also two for one Corona beers.

Friday evening, Jim and I rode the motorbike to New Smyrna Beach and met with Tim, Helena, Mary Lynn and Lamont at the NSB Brewery.  Lots of laughs and a nice catch up with them, then Jim and I went back to South Daytona to DJ's Deck for dinner.  Later than we are usually there - great food and a nice spot.  The Dunlawton Bridge and fishing boats in the dark.
We left Daytona Beach mid-morning on Sunday, 7th and drove to Tallahassee, Florida to be ready to load at 8am Monday at Hopkins Generating Station.  Loaded one 20 ft shipping container belonging to a contractor that had been installing new generators. It contained tools and materials needed for their work and travels to various locations as needed.  A light, easy load, and 1580 miles (2540 kms).
Tallahassee, Florida to Tucson, Arizona.
A nice long haul to the west.  A stop in Rayne, Louisiana to buy the "Slap Ya Mama" Cajun seasoning for friends.
Rayne is Frog City USA.  We ate at Frog City Truckstop restaurant - red beans, rice and sausage - delicious!

I tried to get photos of the murals at the entrance/exit ramps to the highway.

Heading west, enjoying the sunset in western Louisiana.

Past San Antonio, Texas - we encountered a rather ferocious storm!

Storm behind us.

Stayed the night of Tuesday, 9th at the Loves Truckstop in Van Horn, Texas.   Two car haulers loaded with antique cars were at the fuel island.  We ate dinner across the street in an old style restaurant, complete with 1950 era signs.  Seemed appropriate with the same era cars.

The next morning, no storms in the forecast, as we drove through west Texas.
At the Petro Truckstop in El Paso, I saw these very cool lights in the restaurant - prickly pear lights!
The city of El Paso is growing - more highways, travel lanes, businesses and housing - huge construction projects there!

We got into Tucson, Arizona Tuesday evening and stayed at Triple T Truckstop. It has been there for many decades (since 1954), an old style truck stop.
Stayed at Triple T Truckstop in Tucson, Arizona.
On Thursday 11 October, we delivered the 20ft container to a new construction site at the Power Plant in Tucson.  Then to Jim's Uncle Joe and Aunt Rosalie in Tucson for coffee, sweet treats and a lovely catch up with them.
Highway 87 headed to Phoenix, a lot of cacti.

Deadheaded to Chandler, south east of Phoenix to stay a few days with cousin Tom and JoAnn.
Always enjoyable time with Tom and JoAnn and their dogs, Sarge and Karma.  Margaritas and beers beside there pool and JoAnn cooked a fabulous dinner.  Relaxing and good conversation.

The next morning Tom and JoAnn took us to Old Town Scottsdale to the Breakfast Club restaurant.  A very interesting restaurant, with a crowd of diners.  There is a big variety of menu items and Arizona flair.  First time I have had cucumber slices in my water glass rather than the usual lemon wedge. Delicious meal.
Then a stroll around Old Town Scottsdale.
Scottsdale is a desert city east of state capital, Phoenix.  It’s known for its spa resorts and golf courses.  Scottsdale was originally settled in the late 1880;s and named “Orangedale”, the name changed to Scottsdale in 1894.

Downtown’s Old Town Scottsdale has 1920;s buildings and 19th century olive trees.  It is a mix of nightclubs and tourist shops, posh condos and art galleries.
Enjoy the paths landscaped with palm trees, dramatic flowers, and spectacular public sculptures and fountains, plus open-air courtyards that give the area a European flair.  The Soleri and Marshall Way bridges link the canal to Southbridge and the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Plaque:  The Western spirit of adventure is captured in a moment of connection between two Pony Express riders  A legendary tradition established in 1860 and revived in 1958 by Arizona’s Hashknife Pony Express – who have continued to deliver the U.S. mail on galloping horseback on their annual 200 mile relay from Holbrook to Scottsdale. This monument commemorates Hashknif’s 50th Anniversary in 2008.
Herb Mignery  Passing the Legacy bronze, 2008

Horse Fountain in Scottsdale, located at 5th Avenue and Marshall way - awesome roundabout!.

Friday evening dinner was at The Keg restaurant - I had their signature drink - a Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita!  Wow - I drank it all, but it was very hot!  Towards the end of the drink, I discovered that under the slice of cucumber was a thick slice of raw jalapeno pepper.  I wondered where the seeds came from!  :-) A great restaurant!
Rain started during the night and Saturday was very wet.  Rainy days in Phoenix are a rarity.
Tom loaned us his car and we went to Goodyear to visit Jim's cousin Mary and Dennis from his mother's side.

We had breakfast at a local place - TJ's Restaurant, a little out of the way, but at 9 am the parking lot was full and people lined up to get a table.
The eclectic decor was fabulous - county items.  The display of chicken cookie jars was near our table.
Nice to see Mary and Dennis, the restaurant was new to them and they will return for another meal,  After eating a great big breakfast, there were still people waiting for a table, so our visit was shorter than we would have liked.
We had a lunch scheduled with more friends.  Jim and I have had the same neighbours in Daytona Beach for 30 years, their eldest son moved to Arizona 15 years ago, and we had never actually met Mark and his wife, Dani, though we 'knew' each other quite well from conversations with Diane.
Gordon Bierch Brewery & Restaurant in the Glendale shopping district - we could park at and not get too wet getting into it!  Mark and Dani met us there.
This American brewery was founded by Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch.  They opened their first brewery restaurant in Palo Alto, California in July 1988.  Offering good food and a unique German-style beer crafted in-house, they have restaurants in most large cities across the USA.
It was so nice to finally meet Mark and Dani!
After leaving Glendale, the rain had eased off and a little blue sky was starting to appear.  (It was half way through October and already record breaking rain form the month of October.)
On the way back to Tom and JoAnn's we stopped in a plaza at Twisted Cactus Brew & BBQ. We had one beer, and the BBQ was smelling wonderful. We were too full to eat though.

Sunday morning brunch we went to The Perch Brewery.  Jim and I enjoyed this place last year on our visit.  Lots of rescue birds - a great place for a beer and meal.  A portion of the taking go to looking after the birds.

"Sharkey" the galah is still there - fellow Aussie!
JoAnn and I had a flight of mimosas each.  Wow, fabulous!

The meals were great too and we all needed a nap after Brunch!!
Jim and I with Sarge - watching television together.
Monday after sad goodbyes to Tom and JoAnn, Jim and I went to load at a fencing company.  There was a few hours wait on a bending table that had to be tarped, and it took longer than usual to load the pieces as it required extra straps and attention to make sure it travelled safely to Florida.
A load of fencing from Phoenix, Arizona to Orlando, Florida.

I took a few photos of the large saguaro cactus.

It was a cooler and rainy trip headed east through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Even cool and foggy in Louisiana.
It was much warmer and sunny when we got to Florida.
Delivered in Orlando on Thursday 20th, to another fencing company - then to Daytona Beach. It was Biketoberfest weekend.
Sons of Speed at the New Smyrna Beach Speedway was Friday afternoon.  We attended the first New Smyrna Beach event last year, and this was the second one.  A fun couple of hours of vintage racing - 100+ year old motorcycles.  Very entertaining.  A group of friends attended.
Sponsored and presented by Billy Lane (motorcycle builder and owner of Choppers Inc in Melbourne, Florida)  A motorcycle race inspired by early 20th century board track racing and featuring stripped down bikes with pre-1925 1000cc American V-Twin engines.

In the parking lot with Helena and Patty.  Our next stop was The Cabbage Patch on the way back to Daytona.  Jimmy spotted the "Vintage Parking" near the entrance.

Three moto guzzi's in the front row! Jim and Jimmy's ambassadors and Helena's convert.

Bob and Jim.

For an Sunday afternoon ride on the ambassador along A1A, we enjoyed a beer at Beachside Brew Pub .  A beautiful sunset in Ormond-by-the-Sea.
This scooter was looking good too!
Sunday, the last day of Biketoberfest - out on the le mans, after dinner at The Black Sheep, we did a slow ride along A1A and Main Street, Daytona Beach.

A load was scheduled for Tuesday, 23rd, but it cancelled when we were almost to the truck!  Nothing much moving out of Florida, so we took the rest of the week off and got some appointments done.
Lined up a load for Monday 29th out of Charleston, South Carolina.
Wednesday evening we met Lis and Harvey in DeLand at Forno Bello Italian Restaurant - good food there!  It was a good catch up with them.
Thursday was a record day of rain in Daytona Beach.

The annual Dream Cruise of antique cars in Daytona Beach was setting up on the Friday.  Still scattered showers forecast, and the ground was muddy.  Still, lots of cars out on display on Beach Street.

Saturday and Sunday were the big days of Dream Cruise - Beach Street was closed for two blocks and many more cars and vendors there for a pleasant sunny weekend.
Friday afternoon we drove to New Smyrna Beach to pick up a starter motor for one of the motorbikes and while we were there - checked out a restaurant we had been wanting to visit for a while - Norton's Tree House Restaurant & Bar.  Happy hours is 1/2 price drinks, also very good food.  Very nice place and we will be back!  Next time we will try to make it to the tree deck!

Stopped at New Smyrna Beach Brewery for a catch up with Tim, Helena, Lamont and Mary Lynn.

Jim and I left Daytona Beach in the truck early Sunday morning, 28th October - temperatures were considerably cooler!  We deadheaded to Charleston, South Carolina.  We left early so we could spend the afternoon with friends there.
We left the truck at the Atlas Van Lines agent, which is owned by our friends Don and Madonna.  Don picked us up and took us to their house, Michi and Patrick met us there and we enjoyed drinks and catching up.
A fabulous dinner for all of us at the Irish Restaurant Madra Rua - we have been before and it is a great place: food, atmosphere and Irish beers.
We stayed the night with Don and Madonna's, and back to the truck Monday morning to load at the Army National Guard in Charleston.  Took a long time because several trucks were there to load and not sure what was going on which truck.  It was mid-afternoon before we were loaded with one military truck.  (Had to find one that ran, so it could be driven onto the trailer.)

Temperatures much cooler - we spent the night in the mountains of Western North Carolina, it was quite brisk the next morning! Had to find warmer clothes.

An easy trip to deliver the truck to Camp Dodge, in Iowa.
Internet:  Camp Dodge is a military installation in the city of Johnston, Iowa.  Located near Iowa’s capital, Des Moines, it currently serves as the headquarters of the Iowa National Guard.
The north to Hampton, Iowa to Seabee Corp.
Website:  We are a fully integrated cylinder manufacturer, we have the capacity to offer chrome plating and specialty steel casting to a wide array of industries.  We offer quality custom-engineered hydraulic cylinders and components.
We were scheduled for a full trailer, but some items did not pass final inspection - so only had a partial load that paid for a full trailer. The end of the month, it had to ship.  Nice light load headed east.
Hampton, Iowa to Shady Grove, Pennsylvania.